Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Good work

Story of my life. I can find a way to turn any situation into an emotional mess.

I'm a little fuzzy today. Last night I hosted a small Seder. I think we drank just enough but I'm moving slow today and I think that's why. The best news I have is that my knee is feeling great.  Barely hurts at all. Most of my really challenging exercises are getting easy. I biked around 15 miles this weekend and I wasn't even sore. I'm feeling very encouraged. Now it's time to pick my exercise habits back up consistently and I think I'll be feeling better and more energetic all around.

On the work front, things are going pretty well. I was getting a little discouraged, but a few kind words from my project director really perked me up. This person tends to be quite negative and I realized it's just her style. When she says something critical it's just her way of expressing herself, and the message isn't that I'm a big screw up. In fact, not at all.

Then again, when it comes to dating, I am sort of a big screw up. So, R. We had that date last weekend. It went about as I expected, including a sleepover. Nothing shocking there. I knew that the following weekend (the weekend just past), he was going out of town. I thought we might have dinner during the week. I also though we would still text but probably not as much.  Turned out I was wrong on both counts. On Sunday, after I settled in at home, I sent him a message and we talked a little bit. He said he was too busy to get together before his trip and that we should "reconnect next week." That threw me and I asked what was up. He was busy, that was all.

Then I heard nothing from him for two days.  I kind of lost it. I hate, hate, hate getting into that weird funk, but there I was. I've been there enough times to know that it wasn't really about him. Sure, it was kind of shitty for him to completely drop our companionable text habit with essentially no warning. It was also troubling that right at the moment when the desire to maintain some connection would seem expected, it was conspicuously absent.

Nevertheless, despite the negative implications of R's silence, my reaction was way over sized. I knew it yet felt helpless. I dropped down into a deep pit of misery and despair for those two days. Of course, finally, I broke the silence. I was managing myself ok at work, I had friends who were listening to me and providing a mixture of sympathy (Amanda) and tough love (Nancy). It helped a lot and I'm super grateful at my low points that I have friends who will step up and talk me through--even though they've done it for me more times than I can count and it must be getting tiresome. But I didn't want to spend another painful day wondering and worrying about...um what exactly? I needed to release the pressure.

Anyway, I sent R a text late on that second day and our conversation was mostly ok until it wasn't exactly ok. I would say that I went just over the line in what I said. My first salvo was an emoticon with a half frown. The response to that was "it must seem like I've dropped off the face of the earth." Ya think? I replied that I was hurt and confused, but he didn't understand why (maybe because you dropped off the face of the earth?). He seemed to think that our limited acquaintance (a week of chatting and two dates) didn't merit any concern over two days of silence. That was a neat way to sum it up (mine would be more like 10 days of constant contact, sleeping together, then total silence). I think you can see our disjuncture! I tried to convey my perspective, my despair at making to much of it, and my frustration. He sympathized a little then said we should talk the next day because it was getting late. And so we did.

The conversation the next day was interesting. Before we talked I was pretty sure I was done with him. I knew I'd overreacted and I sort of understood why (mostly a fear of abandonment, which had very little to do with R given our short acquaintance), but I was still put off by his attitude. He sent me a text where he said I "wigged out" and that we should be able to go two days without contact. I asked to talk on the phone instead of text, and so we did.  When we spoke, I started by saying that in the grand scheme of things, going days without contact wasn't a problem. That I knew my reaction was disproportionate. But that I didn't understand how he could just disappear and not realize it was kind of a big deal.  

He was frustrated and said he'd apologized. He was sorry for disappointing me (is that an actual apology?). That he didn't like my reaction and we should be able to go two days without texting (already granted!). He wondered if the problem wasn't the no contact but not letting me know to expect it? I agreed that was part of the problem.

Then he started talking about when we would see each other again and how our next date shouldn't include a sleepover.  That kind of stumped me because I thought we were done. I'd been so sure when we started the conversation that he wasn't right for me. I was still really confused by his behavior.  Up to the point of his silence, all the messages were clearly relationship bound--not a clever come on to persuade me to spend the night (which, by the way, was totally unnecessary). I thought I knew the terms of our engagement--and then they switched all around. Look, he can change his mind. It may be (still) that he lost some interest after getting to know me better--fair enough. But that didn't seem to be at all what he was saying when we talked. More that he doesn't really know how to modulate his speed. I'm not sure. We left things sort of open, though he suggested a specific activity and day for our next date.

Over the last few days, we've had very sparse communication. I sent him a couple of very short texts--a couple of times just a photo.  He initiated contact a couple of times. We didn't talk at all on Sunday (no, I didn't "wig out"). He got in touch on Monday. We confirmed our plans for this week. Our contact is friendly but decidedly more low key than before.  I don't know how I feel about him. I'm almost reluctant to go out with him this week--but I know I would be disappointed if he were to cancel. I will try and look at him with fresh eyes and figure out if I like him enough to bother with any of this.  Wait and see.

Grateful for: good, supportive friends. Oh, and having boy problems for a change!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Working weekend

I was going to write a new post today and maybe I still will--but when I opened up the folder, I found this never published draft about a prodcutive Saturday a couple of weeks ago. Seems like I was doing pretty well, doesn't it?

 

March 22, 2014

Things go much better for me when I get up early. Yesterday, I was so good. I had to work (per usual)...a note on this. Pretty much always having things to do on the weekend is getting old. I'm not happy about it. I still like the job but I can tell this is going to be a problem. I'm going to have to draw the line more clearly and stop doing so much so that it's not expected of me. Anyway, in order to work this weekend, I knew I had to get out of the house. I was on the move before 9am. I rode my bike and found a good spot at one of my favorite coffee shops. I had coffee and breakfast and was semi-productive. The next stop was a shop to look for yarn. This is a shop that carries scraps and operates as a non-profit. One of my knitting friends helps operate it and I thought I'd check it out. Up the road I biked--there was actually a trail for about 80% of the ride, which was nice.

When I arrived at 11:30 it was closed. I figured I'd find another coffee shop nearby and squeeze in a little work. In fact there were no coffee shops in the immediate vicinity...but I found something a couple miles away. I jumped back on the bike and found my way there. I got a decent ride in since it was a little hilly. The new coffee place only had brewed coffee but I got a small, sat in the window, and did some more work.

I went back to the shop and didn't find any yarn, but it's an interesting place.

From there, I went to a third place. Not a coffee shop this time, but Union Market, which has coffee and much more. It's quite close to my house and usually not that crowded. It has some decent food options and an excellent coffee place. But by the time I got there, around 1:30, it was mobbed. Lots of families with little kids and big groups of young people. I had a really hard time finding a place to sit. I found free tables that had no chairs--and no one was willing to share. I was really hungry and had gotten some food, but there I was doing a huge circut of that vast place and finding no where to sit. I got mighty grumpy. Eventually I found a table, then I found a chair. I put them together and sat down and ate my lunch. And I kept working I was timing the work and total was about 4.5 hours. That's nuts. The total bike mileage was about 10! That surprised me. At least I was able to combine the two things I needed to do--get some exercise and do some work.

And my productivity didn't end there. When I got home, I started work knitting a hedgehoge for Pele's daughter. I've been meaning to knit her one for ages. I also did some laundry and some dishes. I made the bed. What a day. I'd say it was a total social bust, but when I was retrieving my bike at Union Market, I struck up a conversation about bikes with a fellow unlocking his bike. He had a girlfriend (he mentioned her in passing), but it was a good chat and I got home feeling happy and satisfied.

Grateful for: a satisfying life.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

The point

How about that dating then? I did cancel my membership on the free site. But I was still going online, just using a different venue--a phone app.  It works a lot differently and, so far, I prefer it. Sure, I've run into creeps, but somehow it's easier to disengage. Overall, it's been pretty interesting and I've had several good text-chats.  I've also had four dates with four different guys. Four first dates. I wrote about one of those dates back at the end of January. It took a while for the next date to happen--about a week ago. The last two happened this week, back to back on Wednesday and Thursday.

One of those is promising. What a strange feeling to have! I actually want to go out on a second date with him and I think we may even have a third date. Not to get too far ahead of myself, of course, since we haven't had the second date yet, though it is in the works.

The whole thing has been interesting. Also, I didn't think I wanted to write about it. In a lot of ways I don't, but I can't settle down. I'm feeling a little restless, a bit impatient. Normal for me when I like someone. I don't like him in that complete madness way, where I'm checking the phone every five minutes or I'm composing and not sending emails or texts and torturing myself about it. I'd be lying if I said I were perfectly calm. Not at all. But I'm not a complete mess.

Anyway, this is what the blog is for--my chance to process.  I met the two fellows I had dates with this week online about the same time. With R, we made plans pretty quickly--in fact, during our very first chat. I was going to NJ for the weekend, so we made a date for when I returned. And every day since then, including while I was out of town, we wrote back and forth. The rapport was easy and conversational. We slowly learned about each other's lives and I fussed a little about the frustrations of my family visit. It was always friendly but not overly intimate. He was actually my support system that weekend--I often feel alone during big family gatherings since I'm the only single person, except for the kids. While I prefer to hang out with the kids, that wasn't an option this time. I liked R better and better the whole time. But I was worried about reality living up to whatever expectations I was building.

The other fellow, S, only texted a few times, but it was friendly and we also made plans. I actually thought I was supposed to meet him before my trip, but we had a misunderstanding. We cleared it up and made a plan to meet the day after I had my date with R. S works where I used to work, which freaked me out a bit. I was sure I'd seen him around, but we definitely hadn't met before.

I drove back from NJ with Spesh (Israeli friend), per a previous plan. I talked to R about that too--even though it wasn't meant to be any kind of test, R didn't show any signs of jealousy or question that I was having a male house guest. This is a good sign--I can't tell you how many guys get squirmy when they learn I have a close male friend who is a house guest. "Is he your ex? What kind of visit is it?" Etc. But he had no business asking those kinds of questions.  That's the thing about R--he's so reasonable. Like a real, normal, non-weirdo type person. In fact, due to Spesh business, we had to move our date one day later--and it was even R's suggestion. He was gracious about it.

Maybe this isn't an aside, I don't know, but as usual when Spesh visits, I managed to really lose it one day. I got very upset and angry about the way he handled some of the plans for his time here. That's always ostensibly what it's about. I talked to a friend about it and she said "it sounds like you're not getting what you want from that relationship." Well, yes, I think I knew that but hearing her say it out loud helped a little. I've been turning that phrase over in my mind ever since. My relationship with Spesh is something that I've just learned to accept over the years. He's like another brother and while I may get angry at him, we're not going to stop being friends. I wish I could handle my shit a little better though. This incident (it was so stupid, I don't even want to get into the details) had me pretty shaken up and emotional. Teary, even. And I was still on that edge the next day going right into my date with R! Work is also stressful and I was just hoping I could get in a happier place so that the date would have a chance to be pleasant.

R picked the place for us to meet. I was late mostly due to metro (blasted red line!), but he was not irritated. Our date went well. I was nervous. I talked a lot. Maybe not too much. We ate a little but mostly drank, which was fine by me.  We left the first place, walked a little bit, and had a drink at a second place. We talked and he told me some of his story. It was good, I was happy to be with him. I was nervous and comfortable all at the same time. He walked me to the metro and started to say something about meeting again. We were standing face to face--and I looked into his eyes and kissed him.  Total impulse. I think it took him by surprise. Maybe it took me by surprise a little too. So we just stood there, talking and kissing a little bit, slowly saying goodnight.

I finally got on the train and we texted all the way home until I went to bed. I do wonder a bit about all the texting. I like it, sure, but can it go on like this indefinitely? Will I be disappointed when it slows down? Will it matter? I do like to find things to worry about!

Then, on the way home, I realized I had a date with S the next night! Every instinct was to cancel. Not that I had any certainty about things with R, but I had lost any interest in going out on dates with other people. Yet, I didn't have a legit reason to cancel with S and in fact, I think we'd made plans before I even started talking to R. I kept the date with S.  It wasn't the easiest thing I'd ever done. I tried to be open to liking S. And in a way, it was a test of my feelings for R.  As it often happens, as soon as I got a look at S I knew it was not going to work. He wasn't bad looking but he wasn't for me. He also had a bit of a negativity about him and a tendency to contradict things I said. Not that he had to agree with me--but it was annoying. I don't think I would have been interested him under any circumstances, but under these it was very clear that I wasn't.  Still, we had an ok time. I tried to stay positive and contribute to the conversation. For once, I didn't talk like a maniac, which I sometimes do to cover awkward silences. I just let there be some silences and then one of us would find something to say. We took a little walk at the end of the date, which was nice. He told me I had some interesting stories and that he wanted to take me on a hike (funny, so does R).  We said goodbye and I got on the train. Then R texted. Ha ha! Perfect timing, right?

I haven't told R about the date with S but I probably will.  The next day S texted that it was nice to meet me and that we should touch base after his vacation. I said it was nice to meet him too and I wished him a good trip. I hope he doesn't contact me again, but you never know.

R and I have plans for today--we're going on a short hike in town (more a nature walk, I think) and then he's cooking me dinner. You know it's on.

Grateful for: meeting someone I really like.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wow

So, I did the stupid thing—the wrong thing. I won’t do it again. I know it was wrong and quite possibly a mistake, but I think I can live with myself and I also learned something. I have a better sense of why I’m drawn to doomed situations.  Maybe. Let’s see if I can remember. (The lesson: doomed relationships have a timetable, thus an element of certainty. The thing that usually precipitates my anxiety in relationships is the uncertainty. So, perhaps, even if the certainty is negative, it's better than nothing? I don't know if this is explains my actions or not, but it's a thought.)

Speaking of doom, I had the most infuriating conversation ever with a dude on the free dating site. I had one date with this fellow over a year ago.  When I first met him, I thought he looked ok, but as our conversation progressed, I was less and less attracted. He wasn’t super aggressive, but he did seem to think I should take him home. And short of that, we should meet again so I could take him home then. I didn’t take him home and when he asked me out again, I declined.  A few months ago, he got in touch with me again and he was sort of obnoxious about my continued presence on the site. I didn’t really get it. We had a conversation about why I didn’t want to go out with him. I tried to soft peddle it but eventually I came right out and said I didn't find him attractive. Then he said something about how I had no reason not to be attracted to him. I was puzzled. Since when does one need a reason not to find someone attractive?  That conversation ended, but he approached me again the other day and we had almost the same exchange.  This time, I thought I’d share it with you because his attitude is truly astonishing.

He said something like, “oh, you’re still here.” I asked him why he said that…

Dude:  Just ironic that you and I could of had some sensual erotic times yet you refuse. Out of spite really

Me:      I don’t know why you think it’s out of spite. I wasn’t attracted to you. Am I supposed to be grateful that you were willing?  That’s not how it works.

Dude:  You have no reason not to be attracted to me.

Me:      Why do I need a reason?

Dude:  Then it’s just out of spite.

Me:      So if a woman doesn’t find you attractive, it’s out of spite? What is the source of my spite exactly?

Dude:  You tell me, it’s your spite.

(Points to dude for perfect grammar and spelling!)

After that, I decided to work some of my management jujitsu. Ok, not really, but I’m trying to look at all encounters where the other party seems glaringly, obviously wrong and tease out my part of the problem. I’m actively trying to diffuse these situations, take responsibility for my actions, thank the other person for their input and apologize, as appropriate. So, that’s why I didn’t just say “fuck you” and end the conversation.  I wasn’t subtle or particularly kind, but I tried to stay calm.

Me:      Any ill feeling I have now is about the snide tone you’ve taken with me.  For me, when we met, I wasn’t feeling it. If you need to call that spite then you do what you need to do. I’m going to stop now because this is making me feel bad. I wish you the best.

He didn’t write back. I blocked him the next day, just in case.

Talking to a fellow recently, I said, "there's something wrong with me." I can't say that this story is anything but a confirmation of that. I'm also thinking I need to cancel my membership on the site, at least for a while. If I stay on there, I'm going to keep getting pulled back in to this nonsense and it's exhausting. I'm getting precious few dates and none of them have boyfriend potential.  Maybe it's better to remove the temptation.

Grateful for: tiny insights.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Stupid

I'm facing a serious temptation to do something very stupid. Or maybe just wrong. Or maybe it's stupid because it's wrong. But how do I overrule my desires? I'm generally not an impetuous person. I have a PhD after all, which is basically an exercise in delayed gratification. I told myself I could exit after the MA, but in my heart I knew that would never happen. I was going to finish what I started. It took a long time, it didn't make me very happy, but I got it done.

Have you heard the reports about those studies where they put a marshmallow in front of a little kid and tell them that if they wait a few minutes to eat it, they can have TWO marshmallows? The kids came up with all kinds of strategies to avoid eating them. They sang to themselves, turned their backs to the marshmallow, pretended it was a picture--but some kids couldn't wait and ate it anyway. I wondered which kind of kid I was so I asked my mother. She said with no hesitation that I would've waited. That felt right. I was all about maximizing the amount of candy available and if that meant I had to wait five minutes to get more candy, I would've waited.

Given my capacity for restraint, why, in my personal life, do I so often fling myself headlong into situations that are completely doomed? Sometimes I've enjoyed these situations. Other times I've deeply regretted my actions. I've also gotten my heart broken more than once. I am more resilient these days and I can see more clearly where the problems lay. And yet, I want to venture once more into this doomed arena. I want to feel those feelings.  Maybe that's it? The doomed but passionate romance of my role models playing out over and over again on a much smaller scale? Ugh.  Am I really that stupid?


Right now, the urge to say no is very strong. I want to jump off that cliff and damn the consequences. But...maybe I can wait. Maybe I can just slow this train down a little. And maybe if I can manage that, it will allow some time for reason to catch up with passion. But even if it doesn't, I know I'll survive.

Grateful for: the tiniest bit of self control.

PS You may have glimpsed very briefly another version of this post where I say I'd lost the content. I did lose it in ScribeFire (we're done!), but I forgot that I cut and paste the content into Word to do a spell check. Whew!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Hello Stranger

I tried to blog last week. I wrote this whole thing…and then my browser ate it.  I’d gotten up early to go sit at a coffee shop and work. Instead of working, I started writing. I used a plug in for my browser to write the post and the internet connection got wonky just before I had to leave. I thought it had published…but I was wrong. And the draft didn’t get saved either.

Ok, that’s pretty boing. It’s happened to most writers, bloggers, at one time or another. My step-sister lost half her thesis due to a computer malfunction in college. I’ve lost pages here and there, but never anything major. And let me tell you, what I wrote last week, was nothing major. The first part was all about work. I could write another long essay about work today too.

Suffice it to say that things are going pretty well. It’s still a challenge. I’m feeling my way with the interpersonal relationships and my new semi-managerial role. I am overall much happier but that doesn’t mean I’ve been happy all the time.  I had a difficult situation with a coworker that left me feeling quite anxious for a few days.  It’s resolved now and I am trying to use it as a learning experience. It’s one of those things where he was so obviously wrong and I was so obviously right that it would be easy to just say it was all his fault and I did nothing wrong. However, I am trying to reflect on ways I could’ve handled things better—how did I contribute to the situation? I don’t know that I really have any answers yet, but I’m trying not to blame him for everything that went wrong—that might be the most important part.

What else? I had the flu a couple of weeks ago and it really knocked me out. I did nothing for over a week (except working from my sofa—and watching lots of movies and knitting), and my knee rehab took a big set back. I am mostly back to where I was, so that’s something of a relief.  I had a slight illness relapse this week—but at least I kept up my exercises. Sigh. I am tired of being sick and and inactive. I have to take it easy though and ramp up the physical activity slowly so I don’t wear myself out. So annoying. I’ve done it before and I can do it again…but I don’t like it.

One of the truisms about exercise is that the best kind is the kind you like. I realized that’s my problem with PT. I really hate doing some of the exercises (not only the hard ones), but others I don’t mind. That’s what makes compliance so difficult. I’m going to talk to my PT finding exercises I don’t mind as much and seeing if we can find equivalents for the ones I hate.

And dating. Zero dating news. While I would like to get out there, meet people, have dates, find a boyfriend, etc. I sort of feel like I don’t have the time or energy for it. I’m too busy sleeping (aka recovering), working, or knitting to spare much focus for boys. Not that I’m not constantly on the look out! I just realized that there is ONE single guy at work. He might have a girlfriend, he could be gay, and he’s certainly much younger than me me—but I was sure giving him the apprasing eye at a meeting the other day. Not that I’ll do anything about it since he’s junior staff and may start working on my project—and that would be awkward and inappropriate. Still, I’m not dead yet. Heh.

Ok, now I will do some “real” work. 

Grateful for: generally, being in a happy place.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Begin again, again

Where do I start? I have so much to write about! The job is going great. I’m still liking it.  It’s not perfect, but I’m loving the challenge. I love that I get an opportunity to rise to the occasion.  All the things the horrible supervisor—and my other powerful friends at the old job—thought I was incapable of turn out to be things that I excel at. Can I listen to people and be sensitive to other perspectives? Yes. Can I control myself in trying circumstances? You bet. Can I manage difficult people and negotiate compromises? Yup. Can I come up with creative solutions? Indeed I can.  Can I take criticism graciously? Turns out, YES.

I was in a box at my old job. And all those that had any power were happy to keep me inside that box. Now, I would’ve been satisfied to stay in my box if it hadn’t been for my horrible supervisor. So, despite the pain and agony she caused me, she did me a tremendous favor.  I am finally getting a chance to fulfill my potential (at least in my chosen professional arena—let’s not talk about the writing).  This is so huge—to know that I can be a manager. Not something I’ve ever aspired to—but I am good at reading people and adjusting to their needs. I don’t do it a lot in my personal life (huh, really?), but I have done it, and it’s a really good thing to do at work.

There I go again—whenever I get ready to talk about my personal life, I launch into a treatise on work. What is that about? So, here’s what’s going on. I had a little thing going with a sweet, age-inappropriate fellow. He ended things by text. I was going to say abruptly, but I wasn’t really surprised when he called it off. Our last date was kind of odd. He opened up to me about a lot of troubling things going on in his life. Knowing that’s not really what he had in mind for our “relationship,” I figured we were coming up on the end. And the next day—what do you know—he ended it. I was a little disappointed but that was all. I wasn’t sad and barely even annoyed. I did like him, but no one was falling in love, and we were barely dating, so there wasn’t much to regret losing.  I felt a pang…but by the next day, I wasn’t thinking about him.

And, yesterday, a week after the good-bye text, I was out on a date with a new guy. This time, an age-appropriate man; actually older than me. It’s been a shockingly long time since I had a date with someone close to my age, let alone older.  He was good looking, quiet, calm, and interesting. The build-up to our date was rather flirtatious and as I sat there with him, picking at an appetizer and not ordering a second drink, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to “go there” with him.  We finished and he asked to walk me home. Cute. He would’ve left me at the door, but I invited him in “for a minute.”

We sat on the couch. The cat attacked him and then curled up on his jacket (she is such a weirdo).  We talked—I talked. He touched my back, my hair, but he wasn’t aggressive or insistent or in any way inappropriate. Then he leaned in for the kiss…and I just couldn’t.

I’ve been trying to figure out why ever since. 

Was it the Bluetooth headset he still had hanging on his ear when we first me? (He did take it off after a few minutes.)

Am I still tender from my pseudo break-up last week?

Were my instincts buzzing on something real that was just under the surface?

I just don’t get it. He was interesting. We had a good conversation. He said things that indicated he was listening to what I said. I did way too much of the talking—but we had no awkward pauses.  He was attractive.  He liked me (shallow, I know, but required).  I just…well, I don’t know what he had in mind. And he had every reason to think I was game for a little physical something. But I wasn’t. I am tired of that game. I’ve had some fun with it and I’m not saying never again, but maybe not right now. I couldn’t get started with him on those terms. I still wonder if that’s the answer or if it’s something else….maybe I’ll know if I’m still thinking about him in a couple of days.  The next move is mine as I don’t expect to hear from him again. And if I do decide to reach out, I’m fully prepared to be rejected.

Gee whiz, I do love dating. Not.

Grateful for: potential!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Obsession

I'm not sure what's going on with me. For quite a while now (maybe years?), I've only dipped into the online dating world ocassionally. I kept my profile active, but I only visited the site every few weeks--or when someone wrote to me. I rarely sent messages. I didn't think about it very much. Over the last couple of weeks, I've been checking in daily--usually many times a day. I haven't sent a ton of messages, but much more than my average. I've struck up correspondences with a couple of guys--maybe three?--though none of them seem to be leading anywhere.

I also have the fellow, Ben, out there somewhere who I met on the site and who I may have another date with someday...but he hasn't been in touch over his vacation time (fine) and we're not exclusive, so I'm still on there prowling around. Prowling? More like anxiously pacing. I made sure not to "favorite" Ben so I won't see if he's online. I don't care if he is--I would understand--but I don't want to know the details. Let's hope he's not checking on me either. A little "don't ask, don't tell" is necessary when it comes to online dating--or should we say "online meeting." Yes, that's better, isn't it?

One of the profiles I read recently said the first date after meeting online isn't really a date--the second date is the real first date. I think that's 100% right. The first meeting is like when you run into someone at the bar, or a party, or in class, etc. You circle around each other a little, get the basic info, exchange information--and if you then make a plan, that's the date. The online meeting game puts things out of order. You have the basic info (age, marital status, religion, bunch if other details) ahead of time, but you don't know if you're actually attracted to the person. That's really the test for me...often I have a sense of whether I can hold a conversation with the person--email and IM are fairly accurate on that point--but real life attraction is a completely different matter.

That first meeting is everything...and often it never happens. I have had so many deadend chats and correspondences...I don't think I can count them up. I have to periodically cull my inbox to make room for new messages. I'm not flooded with messages or anything but they do stack up. Over the years, there are hundreds of messages...not hundred of guys...but little short things that add up to a lot of nothing.

Over the last 24 hours, I've recieved more messages than in the last six months (or it feels like it). I suppose the holidays account for my popularity. Some of the messages are just sad. One fellow actually wrote that he's lonely and looking for someone to help get him out of the house. I wrote back with a gentle "no" because I felt bad for him. I suggested that he try and make some friends first because I didn't have time to be his only social outlet. I didn't phrase it quite like that. I almost wanted to say that we all feel desperate at times, but should really avoid putting it in an email to a stranger. Not becaue it's unacceptable, but because it's too damn much pressure.

A few people are wishing me Merry Christmas. Normally, that doesn't bother me, but it's right there in my profile details that I'm Jewish. Maybe just say "Happy Holidays"? I pointed this out to one guy and then he tells me he's half-Jewish (not in his profile) and I that I should "look past the exterior." Well, see, that's hard to do online--especially if your entire message to me is "Merry Christmas. We should talk." AND you live in New Jersey!

I am both annoyed and pleased by the flurry of attention. I want more attention. Is this a side effect of the job change? Are the holidays affecting me? I don't know. I just want more--I want more friends, more dates, more something. Not that I have time! I'm hanging in the office until nearly 7, which means I'm home around 8. I go to bed by 11 and I'm up at 7 (which is actually too late). That doesn't leave much free time. I have my knitting group one weeknight, maybe I see a friend one other night--and I'm wiped out. But I would be willing to stay up late for the right person, of course. Of course!

Happy Holidays, blog friends. I don't know if I'll do a NYE post or not. Oh, and I think I've missed the blog anniversary again...nope, it's December 29, 2004. 2004!!! Nine years. NINE YEARS. What the hell? How is that even possible? This is quite the primer for some future bf of mine. Heh. I've come close to stopping writing, but I haven't really thought about closing up shop. What kind of prize do I get for staying in the game this long. Crazy.

Grateful for: longevity.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Thinking

There I go complaining about not writing enough and what happens? Two posts in as many days! Work, work, work is starting to seep into my conciousness. What I'm doing now is so different than what I did before, I am finding it a bit trying. The scope of what I need to do is large and I don't know if I can actually accomplish what I want. I have to depend on other people to follow through, to take direction from me, and change some of their current habits. I'm asking a lot. I am game to try though.

Today, I got a massage. I've been doing this once or twice a month for a few months. It's a nice complement to the physical therapy. I often come out feeling a bit dazed. Today, I should've gone home for a nap but instead I came to a coffee shop, had a sandwich and some coffee. I read for a while and now I'm writing.

While I was getting the massage, my thoughts drifted to different guys I've dated and some of my relationships. I thought about the fellow I used to call VIP-ex (no longer!), later I think he became Tim. Let's go with that. He was my longest relationship and we dated in grad school. Back then, I was the conventional one and he was anti bourgeois morality. Fast forward 20 years (whoosh!), and who is leading a conventional married life with two small children? Not me. Who is dating semi-frequently and having more casual "fun" type relationships. Not Tim. I agreed with him back then that I was more conventional. I assumed that I would get married and have kids (most likely in that order). It's still a little hard for me to believe that my life never took that shape (though I suppose it's still possible it will). Maybe I shouldn't be surprised.

Tim was the type of person who needed a girlfriend. When we first met, he had a girlfriend he was living with. As soon as she left town for good, he started spending a lot of time with me. We drifted into a pseudo romantic situation, that just edged on actual coupledom. We spend every lunch together and part of every weekend. And then we really were physically together too. And he still had that girlfriend in NY. I was NOT his girlfriend. I was miserable. I couldn't stand the thought of leaving him because I liked him so much. I didn't want to give him up. We had a rocky road for a couple of years, I dated other people, so did he. Then, finally, his NY girlfriend dumped him and we got together for real.

About a year later, when Tim moved away, I knew we were doomed. He needed an everyday girlfriend. He got one pretty quickly; she is the woman he married. So--he needed to be with someone. He couldn't be happy otherwise. I never did. I like having a boyfriend but it's also hard on me. I get very wrapped up in his needs and often don't stop to do basic stuff for myself. With Tim, we dated long enough to achieve some balance but we never stopped having pretty serious conflicts.

What's my point? I know what I think I want and I know what I've done. I was really happy with Kent in Paris and other parts--and I still think that under different circumstances he and I could've had a relationship under non-fantasy circumstances. But, maybe that's a fantasy too? All of the casual dating I've been doing isn't ideal and at times it's been hard on me emotionally. Yet I do get some satisfaction from it. I'm not sure how to do it, but I think I need to readjust my expectations for myself. It doesn't mean that I don't want a steady, real emotional connection with a man, but think my actions should be a lesson to me.

Anyway, the guy I had a date with last week, I had another date with this week. We can call him Ben. He's sweet and we get along well. He is young (what is up with that?). Because of the age difference and what it means about our "life stages" I don't think he'll be my bf, but I enjoy spending time with him. We have a little text-contact in between (mostly initiated by me, but whatever!). I think we'll see each other again, after he gets back from his holiday travels. If we don't, well, I have done a much better job of tempering my expectations. I expect him to be a friend and not leave me hanging. That's about it. So far, he's fulfilled this expectation. I can see that he's been letting me take the lead--maybe because I'm older? I don't know if it matters much, but it's something to be aware of. Anyway, it does feel good to have a little something on the books, even if he's not my one true love. I've already had a couple (three?) of those in my life, which is definitely something I appreciate.

Grateful for: time to relax.

Oh, and here's something cute I made--crochet this time, not knitting. Two peas, no pod.

 

Friday, December 20, 2013

This guy

So there's this guy, Chris. Yes, that's his real name. Anonymous enough, don't you think? I met him a little over a year ago. We IM'd and texted a bunch. After a few weeks of that, late one night, he pursuaded me to meet him out a bar in my neighborhood. We had a drink, we fooled around, I never saw him again. I had a pretty good time with him and he was cute. I didn't think he'd be my bf (sigh--too young), but I also thought another date or two would be fun. You never know. Anyway, there were the occasional texts but nothing of substance. Eventually I suggested we meet again and he simply didn't response. Over a month after that he started texting again (that would be this June). I was starting to see someone else (didn't work out) so I got really annoyed and called him out on his nonsensical mundane messages. He got defensive then apologized and said he'd leave me alone. And he did. I didn't think about him much after that. He became and anecdote about a guy who wanted to text about the weather.

So, I'm still on the dating site and I see him pop up--new profile, but it's his pic. He is viewing my profile over and over--at least a dozen times over a few days. Last night, I finally wrote to him and said, "BTW, I remember who you are." Then he writes back and sort of vaguely apologizes but I can't figure out what he's talking about. After a few more emails the story comes out. He's sorry about the texting. He'd started seeing someone after our date, which is why he wasn't more forthcoming. He felt bad and has been thinking about me. He came on the site (mostly) to apologize to me. He'd deleted my number so he couldn't text me.

I was pretty puzzled by all this. Sure, he was an ok guy, but our encounter was hardly earth shattering. (In many ways, it was downright unsatisfying.) But I liked him well enough, he was cute and interesting, and I was looking forward to seeing him again. It didn't work out that way and I just let it go. But he didn't? How bizarre.

Boys are stupid. But I guess girls are too. Sigh.

Grateful for: the flattering implication of being on someone's mind a year after one date.